Lakers’ Bynum: “We’ve got trust issues right now”

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The Lakers certainly aren’t playing like a championship team.

They’re not sounding like one, either.

“It’s obvious we have trust issues, and unless we come out and discuss them then nothing is going to change,” center Andrew Bynum said after the game.

Trust issues with what?

“Individually. Between all 13 of us we’ve got trust issues right now.”

Maybe the entire team needs to go see Ron Artest’s psychologist.

How do these issues manifest themselves?

“I mean I think it’s quite obvious to anybody watching the game,” Bynum said. “Hesitation on passes, defensively not being there for you teammate because he wasn’t there for you before. Stuff like that.”

Bynum later was asked if these issues were personal or basketball issues. He said both

Allow me to translate:

Give me the damn ball.

Bynum had 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting (plus 13 rebounds). Let late in the game the Lakers kept feeding ice-cold Pau Gasol or just having guys shoot jumpers while Bynum had his man pinned deep (Kobe Bryant did that to him a couple times, among others).

On defense, Gasol and Lamar Odom struggled to defend the J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki pick-and-roll, and the result was Barea racing in at Bynum who slid over to defend the paint, but nobody helped the helper and Barea either scored or hit an open man for a better shot. He carved the Lakers up like a Christmas turkey.

It’s pretty rare to hear a player call out his teammates with trust issues. That may well not go over in the locker room. Kobe seemed more concerned with bigger issues after the game (like being down 2-0 and having to head to Dallas).

“I think the trust that he’s referring to is being able to help each other on the defensive end of the floor,” Bryant said. “You saw a lot of layups. He gets frustrated with he supports a guard coming off the screen and roll and nobody supports him when he’s a big rolling to the basket.”

The Lakers are a team with a lot of issues right now. Trust is just one of them.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.

LeBron James: Reporter warned me about question on Gregg Popovich’s wife before live TV interview

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In her on-court interview with LeBron James following the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win over the Pacers last night, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce asked him about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

LeBron appeared emotional as he gathered his thoughts.

That prompted some to criticize LaForce for ambushing LeBron on a sensitive subject on live TV. But that’s not what happened.

Uninterrupted:

LeBron:

I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.

And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.

It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.

And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.

Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.

It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.

PBT Extra: If Portland is going to turn series around it starts with Damian Lillard

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This was the year the Trail Blazers were going to break through. They were defending better as a team. There was some depth on offense. And Damian Lillard was playing at a level that will get him on many voters’ MVP ballots.

Instead, they are down 0-2 to Anthony Davis and New Orleans, having dropped both games at home to open the series. Portland is on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the third time in four years.

If Portland is going to turn this series around, it starts with Lillard, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. C.J. McCollum needs to get more buckets, Jusuf Nurkic needs to contribute more on both ends, but for Portland it all begins and ends with Lillard and it’s on him to start the turnaround.